ELKRIDGE, Md. — Their reasons are many for forming a line in their cars around the parking lot of the Elkridge Fire Station.
“We drove down here this morning, and we got here about 8:30am,” said Sean McElroy of Columbia.
Some are sick, others have been around someone who is sick or they just have to prove they have not contracted COVID-19.
“It’s for all of the above,” said McElroy, “Everyone I think has had some degree of exposure and we’re just being safe for those who we come into contact with.”
A number of motorists we spoke with say they happened upon the site and spotted the mobile unit before any formal announcement had been made.
“I’m please to announce that we’re expanding community-based testing right here in Elkridge, which has one of the highest case rates in our county,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball while acknowledging the line, which had formed.
The county chose the site within walking distance of nearby communities and bus routes to help those with transportation challenges as well.
Like many other counties, Howard County’s positivity rate has skyrocketed almost tenfold from 3.6 percent a month ago to almost 30 percent now, and county leaders say testing is essential if they are to curb the surge.
“It allows our contract tracers to track the spread of the virus, identify those who might be at risk and inform them in a timely manner to take proper precautions,” said Howard County Health Officer Dr. Maura Rossman.
While Howard County is one of the state’s most vaccinated counties, 14 percent of its residents still haven’t received a single shot and 42 percent haven’t received a booster.
The mobile unit will administer tests from 9am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.